Six ways media outlets are tracking presidential candidates for 2020

Election Tracker, Roundups
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

If you’re still reeling from the round-the-clock coverage of the 2016 presidential election, we have some bad news: It’s starting all over again. With the midterms past us, the stage is now  set for election fever to take over your favorite publications once again. And with the combination of President Trump’s low approval ratings and the Republicans’ loss of the House, a number of Democrats are licking their lips.

As of now, there are seven official Democratic candidates: former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, State Sen. Richard Ojeda, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Rep. John Delaney, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, and, announced yesterday, Sen. Kamala Harris. But more than a dozen of other potential candidates have either formed exploratory committees or made serious overtures that they’re considering a run.

So how are outlets around the web helping readers keep track of this mess? Storybench dove into the world of premature election coverage and dug out these six examples.

Axios – Track Which Candidates Are Running

We’ll start with Axios, which cuts through the noise and gives readers a clear snapshot of the current candidate spread. Hover your cursor over each of the candidates and you’ll get a sentence explaining their status in a little bit more depth. Alongside the infographic, Axios posts links to the latest campaign news, making this a solid hub to keep up to date.

FiveThirtyEight – Who’s Behaving Like a 2020 Presidential Candidate

The biggest source of confusion for most casual political observers is making sense of all the names out there. Corey Booker, for instance, has had his name thrown around a bunch as a potential candidate, yet hasn’t indicated that he’s actually running. Why is everyone so sure he’ll join the fray? Because, as FiveThirtyEight shows in this handy checklist, he’s doing all the things that past candidates have done.

NECN – 2020 New Hampshire Candidate Tracker: See Which Presidential Primary Hopefuls Have Visited

As one of the first primary locations, New Hampshire is an early point of focus for presidential hopefuls, which also makes it useful for making candidate predictions. The crew at NECN seized on their local advantage and have been keeping a live graphic of visits to the state from national politicians. A quick glance at the list shows that there’s some merit to it as a predictive tool.   

CNN – Who Might Be Running in 2020? Here’s What Potential Candidates Are Saying

Potential candidates usually start dropping clues in interviews before making anything official, so CNN collected all relevant quotes from those who have talked about running for the highest office. Straight from the horse’s mouth, as they say.

Washington Post – How Would You Narrow the 2020 Democratic Field?

No one knows how this is going to play out anyways, so The Post puts it in your hands. By assigning each candidate certain values or traits, the design team lets the reader analyze and narrow the field of potential candidates.

PredictIt – 2020 Election Candidates Market

This one may not be from a strict media publication, but outlets like Vox have already used PredictIt’s tool to analyze the potential candidate pool. If you’re a betting person, PredictIt lets you buy “shares” of the candidate you think will win, with each share valued according to their chances of getting the nomination. If you like keeping your money safe, this is an easy way of telling where each candidate’s stock is.


Alexander Frandsen
Alex Frandsen is a fourth-year journalism major and sociology minor. His primary interests include politics, pop culture, and social issues, and he is big into using data to explore them all. He has recently dove into the world of text analysis in R, and is always looking to add tools to his journalism repertoire.

Leave a Reply